With the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's basketball semifinals complete, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds earned victories to move on to compete for the 2014-15 NAC Championship title on Saturday, February 28.
Top-seeded Colby-Sawyer earned a tough 79-76 double overtime win over No. 4 Castleton, while No. 2 Husson claimed a 78-66 victory over No. 6 Lyndon.
The Chargers and the Eagles will now square off for the conference championship on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Colby-Sawyer. When these two teams played earlier in the year, they split victories, as Husson recorded a 82-77 win (Jan. 16) and Colby-Sawyer posted a 65-46 win (Feb. 7).
The NAC Champion will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship.
All tournament start times are subject to change.
2015 NAC MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
All start times are subject to change
Championship • Saturday, February 28 (at Colby-Sawyer)
No. 2 Husson (20-6 overall, 14-4 NAC) at No. 1 Colby-Sawyer (18-6, 15-3) - 2:00 p.m.
No. 1 Colby-Sawyer 79, No. 4 Castleton 76 (2OT) - Boxscore
The Colby-Sawyer men's basketball team erased a seven-point halftime deficit to force two overtimes and prevail 79-76 over Castleton in a thrilling North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament semifinal game.
Colby-Sawyer improves to 18-6 and will host Husson in the NAC Championship at 2:00 p.m. with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line. Follow the action live at nsnsports.net/nac. Castleton falls to 14-13.
The Chargers were trailing 62-58 with 1:32 left to play in the second half before senior Mike Dias (Carver, Mass.) made a jumper and junior Wol Majong (Manchester, N.H.) knocked in the game-tying free throws with 54 seconds left. Colby-Sawyer had a chance to end it at the buzzer, but a Dias jumper caromed off the rim to send the game to overtime.
In the first extra session, Castleton received a trey from senior Alexander Homkey (Queensbury, N.Y.) to open the scoring. The deficit was quickly erased by a Majong triple on the next possession. On the next trip down the floor, Homkey was fouled shooting a three and made two of three free throws to put the Spartans in front 67-65. Majong once again tied the game with a jumper with 2:22 to play. Castleton senior Carnelius Green (Oviedo, Fla.) put the visitors on top 69-67 with a layup, but Colby-Sawyer had the answer from NAC Player of the Year, junior Peter Donato (Portland, Maine), who nailed a jumper. The Chargers got a second chance to end the game with the last possession of the first overtime, but a desperation jumper by Majong rimmed out to send the game into double overtime at 69-69.
Both teams were running on empty heading into the second extra session with minimal substitutions and lack of timeouts, but each showed grit and heart to continue on. Each side traded points for the first two minutes of the frame before a trey from Majong put the home team in front 76-73. A free throw from Dias gave the Chargers a four-point lead, but a free throw and a jumper on back-to-back possession for freshman Pavin Parrish (Rochester, Vt.) brought Castleton to within one at 77-76.
After a pair of missed free throws by Colby-Sawyer, the Spartans called timeout with eight seconds remaining with the ball under the Chargers basket. Castleton attempted a hail-mary pass, but it was picked off by senior Koang Thok (Portland, Maine) who was then fouled. Thok then calmly knocked down two free throws to give the Chargers the 79-76 lead. The Spartans tried a deep pass with three seconds to play, but Thok stole the ball once again to end the game.
Majong finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and five assists to lead the Chargers. Dias had 17 points and nine boards, while Thok added 15 points and six steals. Donato collected a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four blocks.
Castleton was led by a double-double from junior Chad Copeland (Plainfield, Vt.). He had team highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Green finished with 14 points and nine boards, while Parrish added 14 points in 39 minutes off the bench. Homkey and junior Rob Coloutti (Fair Haven, Vt.) added 12 points apiece.
--Courtesy of Colby-Sawyer Sports Information
No. 2 Husson 78, No. 6 Lyndon 66 - Boxscore
Aaron Willis (New York, N.Y.) scored 33 points and the Husson University men's basketball team advanced to its third-straight NAC Championship game with a 78-66 win over Lyndon. in the NAC Semifinals on Friday evening. Husson improves to 20-6 on the year while Lyndon falls to 11-16.
The Eagles fell behind 10-3 to start the contest before going on an 11-to-2 run courtesy of nine points from Willis to take a 14-12 lead with 11:48 left.
Husson would try to expand its lead, but the pesky Hornets kept hanging around and took a 34-33 lead into halftime.
Lyndon took a 48-40 lead to open the second half, but the Eagles responded with an 11-to-2 run capped by an Eli Itkin (Pawtucket, R.I.) layup with 10:51 left that gave Husson a 51-50 lead.
Lyndon knotted it at 51, but the Eagles turned it up and went on a 13-to-4 run capped by two Itkin free throws with 3:32 left that gave Husson a 64-55 lead with 3:32 remaining.
The Hornets would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way as the second-seeded Eagles advanced to play top-seed Colby-Sawyer at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.
Raheem Anderson (Miramar, Fla.) added 19 points while Trevon Butler (Waterbury, Conn.) added eight points and 10 rebounds.
Husson shot 39 percent for the game while Lyndon shot 43.1 percent. The Eagles went 27-32 from the free throw line while Lyndon was 11-16.
David Johnson (Washington, D.C.) had 17 points for Lyndon and Rontrez Purcell (Washington, D.C.) had 17 points as well to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. George Carle (Central Falls, R.I.) had 12 points and five rebounds in the loss and Rob Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) had nine points and five rebounds.
--Portions courtesy of Husson and Lyndon Sports Information